Designer Crush: Susan Collins Weir and Chris Weir of Studio Collins WeirAuthor:Michelle Konstantinovsky
1. Who is your biggest role model?
Susan Collins Weir: My grandfather – I was raised next door to him and worked for the family business, a 125-year-old lumber company since a young age. Arthur had an amazing work ethic and taught me the value of promptness, systems and our customers. He also loved cars and taught me how to properly drive standard – patience is a virtue.
Chris Weir: Thats a hard one. There are many people I’ve come across with traits or skills that I’ve learned from. For work though I’d have to say my wife. She’s amazing at what we do; its actually humbling. Where as I can focus on a single detail for hours she’s go this ability to juggle it all and make every client feel like they’re the only one we’re working with.
2. Which movie or play do you wish you could have designed the set for?
SCW: Anything 007.
CW: I spent some time working as a production designer for a theater in a past life. I’ve always wanted to do a set for Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross.
3. What is the best way to gauge a client’s personality before starting a project?
SCW: Listening and communication are the key to a projects success — the first meeting in the client’s home or site tells a story that always inspires our direction.
Its an intuitive thing for me but a lot of it comes down to a sense of humor. Doing a house with a person or a family is an involved and emotional process that is incredibly rewarding but it can also be stressful. Being able to see through this and have a laugh with a client makes things so much easier.
CW: It’s an intuitive thing for me but a lot of it comes down to a sense of humor. Doing a house with a person or a family is an involved and emotional process that is incredibly rewarding but it can also be stressful. Being able to see through this and have a laugh with a client makes things so much easier.
4. What new design elements are you excited to integrate into your work?
SCW: There are so many amazing makers and artists exploring process, form and materiality– the work is inspiring and its always fun to find moments for these pieces and collaborations in our projects. I love a good collaboration.
CW: I’m really into processes. We’re doing a line of hardware for a window manufacturer right now that involves investment casting. I’d love to work that process into a piece/line of furnishings or accessories.
5. How do you completely unwind?
SCW: In our garden.
CW: Mai Tai on Maui with my family.
6. If you hadn’t become a designer, which career would you have pursued?
SCW: Party planner – we love hosting our family and friends and I live for putting together a good theme party for our children’s birthdays and holiday celebrations – understanding their current interests and making them come alive. Next up is Monsters and Fairies in August.
CW: Honestly, I couldn’t tell you.
7. What’s the worst pre-designer job you’ve ever had and why?
SCW: My first job out of undergrad paid $6 a day in NYC but this was also my best because it was at Christie’s (auction house) and that experience put me where I am today.
CW: Every job I’ve had has given me something that I use today so its hard to look at any of them as bad.
8. What’s your favorite recipe?
SCW: Anything by Chris – he is a great cook and amazing mixologist.
CW: A cocktail I’ve been working on is as follows…I call it The Milltopian:
- 2oz Rittenhouse rye
- 1oz Antica Carpano
- .5 oz Green Chartruese
- .25 oz Benedictine
Mix booze over ice and strain into a coupé glass twist orange peel over drink and use as garnish.
9. Create your perfect playlist for us.
SCW: See Chris’ list – it’s a combined playlist.
10. Who is your designer crush?
SCW: Agnes Martin, John Pawson.
CW: Poul Kjaerholm. The simplicity of detail in his work is heartbreakingly beautiful.
11. Would you rather shop new or vintage?
12. First celebrity crush?
SCW: Seriously dating me here: Scott Baio- everyone loved Cachi.
CW: Carrie Fisher- Princess Leia.
13. What’s your hidden talent?
SCW: Pancake art.
CW: I’ve got mad yo-yo skills.
14. Best restaurant in your area? Where is it?
SCW: Sushi Ran, around the corner from our studio in Sausalito, CA.
CW: Antones East Coast Subs, Mill Valley CA.
15. SF or LA?
CW: I’m not judging but I moved to SF in 1990 and never left.
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